By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Arakan Barracks, Burma Camp
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has built and commissioned a 320-bed transit lodge, as part of arrangements to establish an Army Peace Operations Training School (APOTS) at Bundase Training Camp (BTC), which will enable Officers and Soldiers who undertake training at BTC, to earn certificates commensurate with United Nations (UN) Tactical Level Training, by the end of the year 2021.
Commissioning the facility, which has been christened BK AKAFIA TRANSIT LODGE, after the former Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) – Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Benedictus Kodzo Akafia (Rtd), the CDS – Vice Admiral (V/Adm) Seth Amoama, who was the Guest-Of-Honour at the function on Thursday, 1 July, 2021, said the facility, also to be known as the UN VILLAGE, will serve as transit accommodation for both local and foreign participants attending courses at the APOTS.
Admiral Amoama reminded all that the Ghana Army (GA) had constructed various accommodation facilities and a modern multi-purpose hall at the BTC in its drive to establish the school, and thanked the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) – Major General (Maj Gen) Thomas Oppong-Peprah for his vision and tenacity of purpose, to construct the transit lodge and to establish APOTS.
The CDS Admiral Amoama, additionally stated that the peace operations strategy of the COAS, General Oppong-Peprah, is woven into the overall strategy of GAF’s International Peace Support Operations.
Lt Gen Akafia (Rtd), the Special Guest, whom the COAS had once served as Aide-de Camp (ADC), said creativity is not the purview of everybody, but to each, according to his/her capacity to receive, and that the COAS has been chosen as a channel of expression, because the project is for the Welfare of the men and women under his Command and that, it is why he is walking in the “footpath of the Masters”.
“This singular action qualifies him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. What is knowledge if it does not benefit mankind? May his good continue to be better and his better, best”, General Akafia (Rtd) opined.
General Oppong-Peprah has stated earlier that his motivation to construct the facility, which was funded by the Army Headquarters (HQ), from its PSO budget, was as a result of an encounter he had few years back as Director, Army Peacekeeping Operations (DAPKOP), when he had to oversee a PSO embarkation process, which was disrupted by heavy rains, soaking and flooding luggage, equipment, and sleeping places of troops.
Dignitaries present at the ceremony included the Chief of the Naval Staff – Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, the Chief of Staff at the General Headquarters – Maj Gen Peter Nicholas Andoh, the Commandants at the Military Academy Training Schools and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center – Maj Gen Charles Awity and Maj Gen Francis Ofori, the Chief Staff Officer, Army – Brigadier General Charles Agyemang-Prempeh, amongst many.